Expressing serious concern over the outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar, the Supreme Court today pulled up Nitish Kumar-led government over the deaths of 163 children across the state. The top court asked the state government to file an affidavit on the questions concerning the adequacy of medicines and nutrition and hygiene amongst others in a week’s time.’
Taking cognizance of the matter, the Apex Court said, “This can’t go on, we need answers”. A petition filed by Manohar Pratap and S Ajmani claimed that the Bihar government is not taking appropriate measures to control the outbreak of the disease in Muzaffarpur, seeking Supreme Court intervention in the matter.
The PIL stated, “There was no availability of doctors, beds, intensive care units and medical professionals to deal with an epidemic level situation.” The petitioners also added that the disease is completely curable but it is the inaction of medical practitioners in Muzaffarpur that is leading to the mounting death toll in children.
During the hearing, one of the lawyers informed the court that similar deaths had occurred earlier in Uttar Pradesh. The court took note of it and directed the state government to file its response as well. The matter has been posted for hearing after 10 days.